CHICAGO (CBS) — It has been about a year since Chicago police brass promised to wipe out the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang on the Northwest Side, and a published report says the campaign appears to be working.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, it was June of last year when police Supt. Garry McCarthy declared war on the gang.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
McCarthy’s tough stance came after an admitted member of the gang opened fire in Avondale Park, in the 3500 block of West School Street, and wounded two young girls – Jocelyn Rodriguez, 7, and a 2-year-old girl.
The alleged gunman, Antonio Bucio, 22, was charged with aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the shooting. He allegedly shot at some members of the rival Latin Kings who were playing basketball in the park, but instead hit the little girls as they played in the sandbox.
But charging the gunman wasn’t enough. McCarthy said he wanted to “obliterate” the Maniac Latin Disciples once and for all.
In the 14 months since, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that crime in areas controlled by the gang dropped sharply overall, but rose again in May.
However, police Deputy Chief John Escalante tells the newspaper it does not appear that MLD members are responsible for the spike in violence.
To date, police say they have made more than 2,500 arrests of gang members, mostly for misdemeanors resulting in bail for the suspects, the Sun-Times reports.
Police want judges to place restrictions on those bailed out to discourage them from associating with other gang members.